Cancer and good mental health
I'm 42 years old, and last year I lost one of my kidneys to cancer. It was one of the most trying times I've ever gone through, and one of those things we don't know how we're going to react to until we've actually had to go through it. Suddenly things you thought were important have no place or meaning in your life any more. Priorities change and we change with them...
I realize there are numerous diseases, not just cancer, that can lower our quality of life from time to time, and its something that many of us face each and every day. So with that in mind, how do YOU cope with the tests, the doctors, the day-to-day life and the uncertainty of it all?
For me, I find a great deal of comfort and strength spending time with my family. I also find strength in my renewed relationship with God. My doctor placed me on anti-depressants which helped me get through the first few months, but now I feel I don't need them anymore. I've come to see my cancer as something I'll have to live with for the rest of my life, and something I'll have to manage and treat just like diabetes or a heart condition... and I guess I found a certain level of peace in that. Sure, I have good and bad days, and I've told my family that I "need" those days. It's hard to be up and positive all the time - especially when you're not feeling well - and even though I cherish their strength and words of encouragement, I told them I need to have 'my time' to work through things and to find that inner peace from which I can draw my strength.
On my semi-annual check-up - two months ago - one year from the date I lost my kidney, they found more cancer. The test results were disappointing and of great concern, but it didn't overwhelm me like I thought it would, and I've noticed a change in how I perceive things. Have any of you noticed that in yourselves, too?
I have cancer... cancer doesn't have me. There are more people living with and beating cancer than ever before, no doubt, thanks to advances in treatment and understanding of the disease. It's something I guess I've accepted, and something I've drawn strength from. Have many of you found this strength within yourselves?
I hope you all have a great week.